Empty glass milk jars close up {Equipment} 1 Spring-type Clothespin 1 Vinyl Tube, ¼" or more wide and at least 3 feet long 1 jar or container large enough to put the skim milk in. {Directions} •Put a jar of milk where the cream has risen to the top on a high surface, such as a counter or table. •Place the empty jar on a chair or on the ground (depending on how long your tube is.) •Slip one end of the tube down into the milk until it hits the bottom. (I like it close the the bottom "corner" of the bottle so I can watch it at the end. •Create suction to draw the milk through the tube. •Place the tube into the empty jar and allow the skimmed milk to flow. •Clip the tube to the rim of the milk jar so you don't have to hold it and walk away!

How to Skim Milk (The Hands-Free Way) VIDEO

This is the EASIEST way to skim cream! Ever! | www.reformationacres.com

I’m busy. You’re busy. We’re all busy.

I’m not just normal busy this year either. I’m scared about how I’ll get it all done and still find time to enjoy having a new baby, the sun rises, the smells of the earth busy. Having over 7000 extra square feet of thistle garden will do that to a gal though.

That’s Seven Thousand… with a THOUSAND.

One thing I decided had to go for this year was the cheese making. I’m going to miss the fresh mozzarella– especially sampling the warm, squeaky, salty bites after stretching it. I’m going to wish I had some Farmhouse Cheddar on hand for toasting a quick sandwich at lunch after a morning of unsuccessfully trying to find the bottom of countless thistle weeds. I’m not going to miss whole milk ricotta however. That’s just way too quick and easy a treat to skip out on. You can bet I’ll be making that often!


Quick Tip: Know how much milk your dairy gals are giving you by keeping good homesteading records with the  SmartSteader homestead management app!  With SmartSteader you can record daily tallies and compare them to other times to discover patterns in production that help you know when something is off. (It also helps track expenses so you know exactly how much a gallon of milk is costing you, without you ever having to do any math!!)  


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But if I don’t do something about all of that wonderful Jersey milk Holly is blessing us with, we’ll drown in a puddle of cream.

Which, frankly, might be a good way to go.

The only way better might be go in a puddle of butter.

Which brings me to my next point which is: Butter and Bacon.

We bought a couple of beautiful pigs whom we shall fatten on superfluous Holly milk, from which I’ve skimmed away all of the wonderful cream, whose destiny is to be turned into golden balls of butter. And the pigs? They’ll end up as bacon.

I think it sounds like just about the perfect plan myself.

But if this whole perfect plan of butter, and bacon, and redeemed time is to prosper, I need a better way of skimming cream than by the tablespoonful. I mean the girl isn’t even on fresh grass yet! How much will skimming tie me down to the kitchen when she gets some green in her diet?!

So I set out to find the easiest way to skim cream. And because I’m cheap, the cheapest.

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I thought the best way seemed to be glass mason style jars with the spigot (You know, that look like this.), but two things kept this from working out for me.

First, the milk drains out so quickly the cream ends up slowly following down the sides and I easily lost track of where the cream line actually was in order to know when to flip the spigot off. But more problematic than that was the inch or two (depending on your jar) of space under the spigot where there is still milk. Sure you can tilt it to the side and let it out that way, but it’s still hard to see when all the milk is out. If the jar is slightly tipped away from you, it looks like the milk is all out when it isn’t and meanwhile you’re shaking a bit and mixing a little of the cream back in which is some precious stuff- not an ounce to be wasted!

This was better than ladling it out, so far as time was concerned, but it was still more of an upfront investment than I would have liked to make.

The whole Time vs. Money argument. She’s one no one will ever win.

Enter The Siphon Tube Trick.

Cheap? Yes!

Quick? No!

BUT does it waste time? NO!

Stick it in, suck it up, clip it on, and WALK AWAY!

The whole process of skimming cream from half a gallon of whole non-homogenized milk was over in 9 minutes. During which I made lunch!

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How to Skim Milk (The Hands-Free Way)

{Equipment}

1 Spring-type Clothespin
1 vinyl Tube, ¼” or more wide and at least 3 feet long
1 jar or container large enough to put the skim milk in.

{Directions}

•Put a jar of milk where the cream has risen to the top on a high surface, such as a counter or table.
•Place the empty jar on a chair or on the ground (depending on how long your tube is.)
•Slip one end of the tube down into the milk until it hits the bottom. (I like it close the the bottom “corner” of the bottle so I can watch it at the end.
•Create suction to draw the milk through the tube.
•Place the tube into the empty jar and allow the skimmed milk to flow.
•Clip the tube to the rim of the milk jar so you don’t have to hold it and walk away!

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{Notes}

•When it starts to get near the end, come back and keep an eye on it. You can see a thin line of cream start to get pulled down into the suction if you leave it in place. Just trail the end of the tube around the bottom “corners” of the jar until all the skim milk is gone.

•To clean the tube, I run hot water through it until it is clear and then put a drop of anti-bacterial dish soap down the tube and keep running the hot water through for another minute or so.

•A concern was brought up on Facebook because of the composition of the tubing materials. My 2 cents: Vinyl tubing is used in the home brewing industry without troubles with leaching. Since the length of contact the cream makes with the tube is so short and because nothing is heated up, I’m not concerned.

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There. Now with virtually no effort or expense you’ve been able to skim off a beautiful, traditional, healthy fat. Use it as you wish. You can whip it, make sour cream, or the most amazing butter.

What’s your favorite use for cream?

This is the EASIEST way to skim cream! Ever! | www.reformationacres.com

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18 Comments

  1. I combined my Google profiles a month or two ago and I bet this one was uploaded to the one I deleted :/ I'll have to see if there's a way to recover it. Thanks for the heads up Heather!

  2. My {silly} question is about the milk – does your family drink the “skim” milk, or is it still considered whole milk if you take the cream off the top? We have a raw milk share and I’d love to use the cream, but thought I needed to keep it in the milk for drinking.

    1. No Janet, when you take the cream it’s no longer whole. We don’t drink it because the the fat in the cream helps your body take up the nutrients in the milk. Plus skim milk makes you fat, so I send it out to my piggies (or chickens) who are glad for the treat 🙂

      I feel like if I ran a milk share, I’d offer up quarts of cream options and then have piggies I’d fatten up on the skimmings! That way everyone wins 🙂

      1. probably a dumb question, but i was wondering, if you are taking in the cream, albeit no longer in milk form, with butter, ice cream, etc, wont it still help you take in the nutrients in the milk you drink with said nummies? my kids drink tons of milk, and im afraid if i only get to skim what i can snatch from their drinking habits, we will never have butter ;;pout;; lol.

        1. Ok… I just deleted the first reply I made to your comment… I read it wrong (I should be napping right now- I need it 😉 ) It’s my understanding that the whole package- milk and cream- need to be taken in by the body at the same time in order for the nutrients to be absorbed. They’re fat soluble nutrients. So you’d have to be conscientious about eating your butter, ice cream, etc… with a glass of skim milk.

  3. One of my favorite hymns… Sigh 🙂 I was thinking, is it possible and/or easier to just lower the tube into the full jar only down to the bottom of the cream line, clip to the side if the jar to keep it in place, and just siphon out the cream rather than the milk? Actually that’s what I thought you were doing, and the longer I watched the video I thought, wow… Her cow gives a lot of cream…, wow…. A LOT of cream… Okay WHAT kind of cow is that?? Haha. Then towards the end I finally realized you were doing the opposite. 🙂

    1. I can’t remember the details, but I *think* the tube has to have something special on the end to siphon from the top? Not sure, but I think it might uptake the milk with it because of the suction otherwise.

  4. Thank you so much for posting this — I have used the methods you have and had the same frustrations! I also tried using one of the glass lemonade jugs (with the dispenser at the bottom of the container) with some success but this is SO much better! Really appreciate your creativeness!

    1. Hope this is the solution you’ve been looking for! It’s still working great for me with the only trouble being that sometimes it takes a little fussing to get the clip to hold the tube straight to the very bottom. It will kick it off to the side.

      1. i always figured i would use a gravy separator for this task… can you think of why it might not work that way?

  5. This is fantastic! We get a raw milk share each week and this is a much easier way to get the cream off the top. Thank you so much for sharing! 🙂

  6. This is great! Thank you for sharing, it’s nice to have options.

  7. Hip, hip, hooray! So glad you posted this. When we milk our Molly, it takes so long to scoop off the cream line, that I was entertaining the thought of adding a cream separator to my birthday wish list this year. However, at $129.00 a pop, I’ll spend the $3.00 on a tube and call it a day. So simplistic. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Wow! I can’t tell you how glad I am to have been able to save that much for you! Makes me super happy Kelli!

  8. See…this is why I love that you are doing the whole milking thing first. I get to glean all the cool ideas right before I need them myself. You do all the work, I get all the benefit! Thanks, Quinn.
    Plus, gotta tell you that is one uber professional looking video.
    Plusx2- I would like to next find out your secret of losing baby belly/pregnancy weight within months of delivery. A video on that would be greatly appreciated thankyouverymuch. 😉

    1. I’ve got to laugh that you think the video is professional looking. I don’t know if I had the whole music-over thing in mind when I set up the tripod, but it worked like a charm to cover up the kids melt-downs, bickering, and my shouting in between. (Keeping it real?)

      Baby weight secret? Hide yourself under deceptively baggy clothes to keep ’em guessing and only show 3/4 of your arms which are the only body part except for eyeballs that hasn’t been touched by pregnancy. (Except a scar on the elbow where I fell down some stairs while I was 10 weeks pregnant with Lydia.) 😀

      By the way, funny story- I had a dream not too long ago you and I were sitting on country porch somewhere shooting the breeze over being frugal. It was nice chatting with you 🙂